Monday, October 22, 2007

Week 8 -- Some thoughts and some fun

Well, well, some very interesting things going on in the SEC today, some of it just frankly freaking amazing.

It seems that in spite of the absolute pasting they took at the hands of the Crimson Tide this weekend, the Chattanooga Times Free Press thinks that the Vols still have a shot at the SEC title game:

Five of the SEC East's six teams have two league losses. The Vols (4-3, 2-2 SEC) have played two of them, going 1-1, and they will play the other three.

Four of Tennessee's last five regular season games are at home, starting Saturday night with South Carolina -- another two-SEC loss team.

"Like Coach (Phillip) Fulmer told us, the season's not over. Not one bit," UT middle linebacker Jerod Mayo said.

But have the Vols shown anything to make anyone this that optimism is realistic?

Uh, let me answer that for you -- not really, at least, not given the schizophrenic nature of the game they have been playing in place of actual football. Unsurprisingly, Rocky Top Talk agrees:
Despite gross coaching incompetence in all major games but one, UT still has an outside chance at contending for the SEC East. But someone (ahem, Georgia) would have to beat Florida, and UT would have to beat South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky and Vandy. I'm tempted to say Florida can punch their card to rematch LSU in the SEC title game, but things have been strange this year. I'm done with predictions.
Well, I can't blame him for that. This SEC season has been full of bizarre twists and turns, and there is no real reason to think that the thing will turn back to normalcy anytime soon. Nobody really would have expected Alabama to obliterate Tennessee like they did, but then again, almost nobody expected LSU to have a loss to Kentucky.

Now, here is an interesting tidbit -- Les Miles says he is going to "review the block on Dorsey". What the hell is there to "review?" All you have to do is look at the thing once.

For any of you that didn't see the game, the Auburn right guard made an egregious chop-block on Dorsey's right knee while he was engaged with another player. How the officials could have missed that call is beyond me, but it was really blatant. Fortunately, Dorsey seems to be OK, but that is the kind of thing that should get players thrown out of the game and suspended for long periods of time.

The thing looked very deliberate to me, as the right guard was going right for Dorsey's knee, which collapsed at an odd and scary angle. How he escaped serious injury is simply beyond my comprehension. Predictably, there is some displeasure among LSU bloggers. Here's what Richard Pittman of Geaux Tuscaloosa had to say:
My third thought is that there is no way in hell the hit on Dorsey was legal. I understand that the Auburn boards are aflutter with activity justifying and/or rationalizing the hit, but there's no way. It wasn't in any respect a legal hit. I'll give the player the benefit of the doubt that he was not out to injure Dorsey, particularly if he comes out and says it publicly.
Obviously, there are some who just a little bit more incensed, but I think Pittman gets it right. Senator Blutarsky at the Georgia Blog Get the picture thinks this was the cheap shot of the year in the SEC.

Auburn, on the other hand, feels there was a bit too much home cooking down on the bayou:
What's up with SEC refs this year? They are absolutely horrible. Are they making up their own rules? In the Florida/LSU game, they called back a kick return from a replay that was definitely disputable. In the Florida/Auburn game, they called a penalty that was eliminated in 2003. Who can forget the replay call in the Ole Miss/Bama game (aside from Bama fans)? In the LSU/Auburn game, they nullified a penalty from a replay, and gave LSU a first down with a horrible spot.
That spot was pitiful, no question.

So Kentucky beats the Tigers after a tough game and a long week. Then, dinged up Kentucky gets beat by Florida after a bye week, resulting in a tough game and a dinged up Florida team. Now, Florida faces a Georgia team coming off a layoff this weekend. Anyone sense a pattern here?

Georgia must be chomping at the bit to get to the Gators, especially on a "neutral" field in Jacksonville. This game could truly be a season changer, put Georgia back into the SEC East hunt and deal a fatal blow to their hated rivals from Gainesville. But David Ching is wary about Tebow's injury, and Paul Westerdawg says Tebow is the reincarnation of Biff Tannen. Twin sons of different mothers, indeed.